Panel Recommends Improved Weapons

The Pentagon should speed up or improve some key weapons programs as part of the effort to transform the U.S. military into a leaner, more lethal force that can strike quickly around the world, a panel of defense experts says.

There also should be more focus on increasing joint control and command among the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines as part of developing a new long-range precision strike capability.

``The services are very, very capable, but they still have not learned, and they have not trained, and have not exercised sufficiently for us to claim we have a true joint force capability,'' retired Air Force Gen. James McCarthy said Tuesday.

McCarthy's panel recommended that transformation into a force of the future should include converting four Trident submarines into cruise missile carriers; enhancing the B-2 bomber to carry more bombs; accelerating the production of the high-flying Global Hawk unmanned spy plane; and developing a stealthy long-range cruise missile.